With the recent headlines about a school district in Florida doing away with homework, I thought it would be helpful to review some of the disturbing facts about homework that have been known for decades but still ignored by adults who want to continue to haze children with this dreaded practice:
- Homework does not improve learning or retention of knowledge. It doesn’t even improve the appearance of learning (academic success).
- It’s unjust. Anyone with any teaching experience knows that some households are conducive to productive homework and some aren’t. Parents run the gamut from not helping at all to doing all the work for their child. Because there is no even playing field, assigning homework to all students, regardless of their home-life, is fundamentally unjust.
- Homework needlessly stresses children. Why would you want to do that? Plus, students learn better when there is less stress in their lives.
- Failing to do homework can lead to feelings of academic inadequacy and to unnecessary disciplinary action which in turn can alienate kids from school.
- We generally think it’s bad to take our work home with us, that valuing a separation of work and home-life is a good thing, but homework teaches just the opposite.
- A common argument for homework is that it prepares students for later grades. This is the maddeningly circular argument that homework is necessary because it prepares children for… homework.
So, bravo to the Florida district that had the courage to do the right thing. Let’s hope others follow and let go of this legacy cruelty. Remember, just because it was done to you doesn’t mean it’s right to do it to others. Say it loud & say it proud – wait…. I’m a teacher & I can’t help myself… Say it loudly and say it proudly! Get rid of homework!
Hey, look: a flower to click: